My late apples are soon ripe enough to eat and make pie from now. I love that first bite of an apple just picked from the tree. I love apples and I think most other people does too. One that loved apples was a man called Johnny Applessed. I know most americans knows about him, but I´m not sure many outside america does. There are lots of stories about Johnny and most of them seems untrue. He did not have pots on his head and torn rags for clothes. But the clothes he did wear was of low quality, the clothes he had of better quality he always gave away to those whom he felt needed them better than he did. Neither did he randomly spread apple seeds on the roads he walked, but more about that later. He was however a missionary for "The church of new Jerusalem" or as we call it over here the Swedenborgian church. They followed the teaching of the Swedish scientist,Christian mystic, theologican and philosofer Emanuel Swedenborg.
Did You know that the apple originates from an area nowdays called Kazakhstan? Not long ago they had big apple forests but they have started to cut them down. This is a problem because we might need that genetic material for our modern apples. We had very many different kinds of apples grown and for sale not long ago, but nowdays they grow just a few varieties that they know we will buy. This is a big problem because then different pest attacks the apples and the farmers then uses loads of chemicals to kill them off.
So when a bunch of scientist in the US heard that these forests in Kazakhstan was cut down they travelled there and collected as many different seeds they could. Not once but twice. The result of these trips now grows in Geneva, New York. With this genetic material they now tries to find out a way to keep away these pests. But personally I think it would have been better to have a bigger variety of apples growing beside each other. But I am really happy that they went over there to collect those seeds!
But back to Johnny Appleseed. He didn´t randomly spread apple seeds on the roads he walked, but he started nurceries. He sowed the seeds he got for free from Cider producers. He walked to areas where he knew or thought settlers soon would come and bought some land. He fenced the land so cattle couldn´t get in there, sowed the seeds and hired someone to care for the little plants that had started to grow. When the trees was big enough to sell the care taker sold them and Johnny would then get his share. He normally wanted money, but was happy if he got cornmeal or used clothes. Sometimes he didn´t get anything but never argued about it.
These apple trees usually gave sour and bitter apples, not good for eating. But they were great for cider, hard cider that is with lots of alcohol. Back then the settlers knew that water could spread diseases so they never drank water, but they drank cider, hard cider instead even for breakfast. Because every one knows alcohol kills bacteria. This became a big problem until the temperance movement started and with that most of these sour, bitter apples dissapered. Johnny Appleseed never got rich on this business but he could have bought much better clothes than those he preferd to use.
I´m not sure You can see them, but there are two plastic red and yellow ribbons in the trees. I think it´s easiest to just follow the spruce from the bottom and up until You can see them. I think they mean that my favourite part of the forest will be cut down this winter.
This is a bit funny, but I have no photo of apples in my blog today :-) But I do have a bottle of sweet cider by my side, non alcoholic :-) There´s a fire in the stove and all the animals are sleeping upstairs.
Have a great day now!